A professional-use desktop 3D printer, FDM-based, for less than $10,000—this is Stratasys’ newest product innovation and the fulfillment of CEO Scott Crump’s long-time goal of putting a reliable, capable, accurate, and easy to use 3D printer on every engineer’s desk. (My apologies to Steppenwolf for the headline, but I couldn’t resist.) The Mojo 3D printer is not just a desktop printer, it’s a complete system. And it’s priced at $9,900, which I’m pretty sure is the lowest priced professional level 3D printer on the market today.
From my engineering perspective, this is a sweet system. The package contains everything needed to produce models, including material (about 80 cubic inches of ABSplus in ivory and support material of SR-30 soluble) and a support-removal system. It is a genuine, patented Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM®) system, but it uses an innovative variation on traditional FDM material extrusion. The ABS material spool and the print head are integrated into a single package, called the QuickPack print engine. (QuickPack is recyclable.) Thus, every time you install new material, you are also installing a fresh print head, which significantly lowers maintenance needs. Loading this spool and print head package is easy, just like snapping in an inkjet cartridge on a paper printer. The ABSplus material lets you use this printer to develop form, fit, and function prototypes and end-use parts.
Now for some specs: The build platform is 5 x 5 x 5 in., which is just under the build platform of the uPrint SE. Mojo measures 25 in. wide, 21 in. deep, and 18 in. in height (64 x 53 x 46 cm), and weighs just 50 lb. Layer resolution is 0.007 in. (0.17 mm), which is the same as that of the Dimension Elite and the Fortus Production 3D Printer line. As with a paper printer, no training is needed to get it set up and running, and settings are selected at the host computer (Windows XP/7), not the printer itself. Mojo connects to the host computer though a USB cable.
Modeling operations are easy with the preprocessing software, Print Wizard, which helps you efficiently manage workflow. PrintWizard is like the Catalyst program used on other Stratasys machines. It provides a 3D view of printing pack, thumbnails of files, printer status preview, 3D orientation previews, and real-time auto-packing.
Support material removal is simple with the included WaveWash55. It is a self-contained, hands-free cleaning system, and it requires no plumbing. You put in your part, and it automatically removes any support material.
Todd Grimm, president of T. A. Grimm & Associates, had the opportunity to evaluate an early beta-test unit and noted: “Stratasys, who arguably started the revolution in 3D printing, is poised to shake up the market again with a complete professional system that breaks the $10,000 mark. With its new [3D printer], Stratasys is in a league of its own. It’s counter-intuitive to get a low-price product with high quality like this.”
“The name Mojo implies magic, which is how some describe 3D printing upon first witnessing it,” says Stratasys VP of Global Marketing Jon Cobb. “You can buy a less expensive 3D printer, but for the serious designer or engineer, Mojo is the lowest-priced product that offers professional-quality output, comes as a complete package system, and uses industrial-grade thermoplastic material. I expect this will be of interest not just to engineers and educators, but entrepreneurs and independent designers as well.”
If you don’t wish to purchase outright, there is a leasing option. You can lease a Mojo for $185 per month. But at this price, even purchasing managers would be happy. And even though this 3D printer is targeted specifically at professional engineers, not consumers, that lease price could make it mighty attractive to the consumer market.